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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

rubbish rock

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/mar/31/reading-leeds-festival-rock

the above got me thinking about rock n roll in the UK.
To me, Reading Festival has been an indie festival since about 2004, which is why i havne't been. The line-up is PANTS. And apparently Funeral For a Friend are metal. No, they are emo. How can you tell? They cry alot. So do their fans. Pants.

so, on to Download, hailed above as the Rock Festival. Def Leppard? Limp Bizkit? LIMP FUCKING BIZKIT?!? I think they are shit. Wank. Fucking bloody terrible. I never liked them at 14, now at 24 they annoy me with their mere existence.
Anyway, so this is a rock festival is it? Hmm?

Blood Stock - Blind Guardian, Girlschool, Turisas, APOCALYPTICA.
no further questions, i rest my case

Attending work

There was shock today when it was discovered that MPs' salaries may be linked to whether or not they bother to turn up!
Gordy, you beauty.
Personally, i'd like to see Dennis Skinner put in charge, for his dedication to Parliament and his rounded and balanced views on all parties

MPs' Expenses

Now, i'm pretty sure that MPs have to pay their staff out of their expenses, which is so dumb as to be unbelievable. Who else, who "in the real world" has to pay their STAFF out of their EXPENSES?!?! Stupid.

Also, all this just makes me look at the 19 millionaires in the Tory Shadow Cabinet and think that they must be rubbing their hands with glee. Admittedly they might have to put a hand in their pocket ever so often, but their personal wealth will allow them greater latitude if expenses are cut in response to this. William Hague pisses me off, because while he's a part-time MP his staff, who do his work for him, are paid out of TAX take. So tax payers are paying for Hague to be swanning off making million. Don't hear THAT too often i've noticed

Monday, 30 March 2009

Part-time politicians

Kevin Maguire, you beauty:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/columnists/maguire/2009/03/25/britain-needs-full-time-politicians-not-part-time-mps-115875-21226047/

As I often say, MPs should NOT be part time. If you don't want to do it, f off and do something else. Whilst full-time 'career politicians' are not great, i think it better that some come through like that than work part time to deal with things that must surely be a conflict of interest issue.
Full time politicians thanks.

Catch up since the weekend

First of all is the Adam Smith Institute.
What useless, blind, dogmatic idiots they are. Although, to be honest they may just be trying to disprove another of Gordon Brown's claims: that free market fundamentalism had learnt the error of its ways and ended. Then along comes the Adam Smith Institute. Just when I, amoung others, thought that free markets had maybe had some important, maybe decisive, role in the current global economic crisis, there they are stating that the problem has been TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT and that the market should be allowed to run itself. Yeah, great job its done so far. idiots.

I really hope that Jacqui Smith's husband was watching Who's Nailin Palin? That would amuse me.

Well done to Jenson Button, looks like he finally has a car befitting his talent. Well done to Lewis Hamilton for a Schumaker-esq drive, coming from 18th to 3rd, top class.

Cricket, didn't England do well yesterday. I was worried when Strauss expressed his hope that after winning the toss and bowling they would restrict the West Indies when I thought they should go for the throat. To be fair, they did and reaped the hansom rewards for doing so.

that is all. for now

Friday, 27 March 2009

Daniel Hannan

After this bloke's rant has become every right-ist's favourite YouTube moment, i'd like to take some time to point out in a balanced and unbiased way (ha!) what an idiot he is.
by delegating and getting other people to do it for me:
http://www.liberalconspiracy.org/2009/03/26/daniel-hannan-the-new-tory-saviour/

http://www.nextleft.org/2009/03/devalued-dan-hannan.html

i really am dreading that stupid lot getting in.

Apparently:
Iceland is a case-in-point showing regulation is bad. Ha!
Regulation is bad. Ha!
You can't spend your way out of a recession. Ha!
(implication) Markets are never wrong. Ha ha bloody ha.

silly Tories

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Loosing with Labour

Just looking round, saw this:
http://englisheclectic.blogspot.com/2009/03/labourites-who-want-labour-defeat-at.html

and thought this:
Unfortunatly, as the governing party Labour has attracted many Glory Hunters. I feel that many people want Labour to win because we (Labour) won last time and have been in for a long time. The same reason many want us to loose. I think loosing may do us good, get rid of the glory hunters who crowd out people who are actually Labour people. After all, not enough people actually stand for anything other than election in this party now. A shake up may do us some good

Drugs anyone?


Let the Tories lead the way

London Citizens

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Parliamentary Launch of the London Citizens London Living Wage Campaign. The campaign is VERY worthwhile, and some of the stories of the poorly paid cleaners are really moving. Any help that can be given to this campaign is to be welcomed.
John Cruddas was there as the sponsor and was excellent.
HOWEVER,
I got a bit turned off as it went on as I felt everyone was preaching to the converted. The campaign involves London Citizens and UNITE, but almost all of the attendees were from Unite and London Citizens. I understand that the British Hospitality Association were invited but declined, unsurprisingly. However, with the frequent mention of cleaners I would have thought that someone like the CSSA would be a good body to have on side. Afterall, WE support the living wage, and as a business group can do more than appeal to hearts and minds. In my experience, many businesses are willing to support a living wage IF there is a business case made, but there was no mention of this, only how hard living on the minimum wage is. I agree with the campaign absolutely, but I feel this may have been a missed opportunity to reach beyond the usual suspects

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

New National Anthem

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1164245/BBCs-banal-new-national-anthem-England-gets-panning.html
According to the Daily Mail, the BBC is looking into a new National Anthem. I CANNOT BLOOMIN STAND God Save The Queen. The part of me that is Welsh laughs at the part of me that is English when God Save The Queen comes on. It's slow, boring and I don't WANT to save the Queen. National Anthems should celebrate the country, not the unelected head of state.
For me, Jersualem all the way.

Same Old Tories

Just in case anyone needed reminding, they are the same old Tories:
http://www.labourlist.org/tory_grassroots_up_in_arms_45p_top_rate_tax?utm_source=taomail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=377+Communication%2C+Mon+23rd+Mar+2009&tmtid=9183-377-6-1-2089

No end of talk of money going to black people being a major problem

Monday, 23 March 2009

lib dem blog

sorry Lib Dems, too many posts taking up too much space. I am TRYING to be objective on here, but i can't see any other posts.
less quantity, more moving to the left (less tax cuts for example)

Start the week and new capitalism

Really interesting piece on Start The Week on Radio 4.
Now, i'm no economist but for ages i've been likening the current epoch of financial capitalism to the 1970s crash because of the availability of capital. for me, the problem has been money that is too cheap and easily available.
Going back to my Marxist roots (in terms of historical materialism), we're hearing a lot about the end of free markets and a new age of regulated capitalism and state-intervention, mixed with a change in the mindset and ethos of capitalism. based on what has happened previously, it is likely that we will have an era of constrained markets and a more compassionate capitalism. then we'll get some free market proponents calling for freer markets, which they will get, and we'll get another crash, and then more regulated markets and the whole cycle goes again.
hmm, rambling.

also, the current thing about MPs' expenses will come to nothing BECAUSE the inquiry will look into outside earnings. The Tories will block any progress on this, Labour will block anything the other way. Very similar to Unions on one side, Ashcroft on the other

Friday, 20 March 2009

Cricket

I was reading something last night about who will be playing in the Ashes next summer and I would suggest the following team, although form will make a bug difference:

Strauss (captain)
Cook
Vaughan / Key (Depending on form. Key doesn't move his feet enough to be a success at Test level)
Pietersen
Collingwood
Prior (keeper)
Flintoff
Broad
Swann
Anderson
Khan

Honourable mentions must go to Bopara, Harmison and Panesar who are close. One option i've been thinking about was to have Prior at 3 and Bopara at 6. The bowling is the problem at the moment. I've gone for Khan over Harmison because Harmison is living on past glories and needs to show he's fit and firing, like he was after spending some time with Durham last season

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Cricket, especially young talent

Looking at the current Australia team contesting the series against South Africa drew my attention to the Ashes summer and some comparisons. Siddle has by all accounts settled very well into his role in their attack, and what struck me was that he'd only taken around 50 First Class wickets before his call up. England's problem for a good long time has been taking wickets. Now Chris Woakes http://content.cricinfo.com/england/content/player/247235.html has 49 First Class wickets at 23, but i don't see him on an A Tour or being touted for selection. Another very promising young all-rounder is John Clare http://content.cricinfo.com/england/content/player/297441.html, who is streets ahead of anyone else, Broad aside, when it comes to replacing Flintoff. To be fair to the ECB they have been part of the fast-bowling programme, but lets have these sorts of players around the set up to see what they're like.
The ODI series will surprise us, but not necessarily pleasantly from an English perspective

A fourth term

Prospects for a fourth Labour term at the moment are pretty poor. But there is hope. I was talking to a friend of mine last night who thinks that people voting against us are likely to give the Tories two terms, while people voting FOR the Tories are more likely to get us back in after one term out. I find all the very interesting as I would have likely said the other way around. It certainly gives us something to work with.
I worry about the election after this one, if we win this one we may end up out for a LONG time, and if Cameron doesn't win the Tories may shift back to the right and when the next election comes around it will be 97 in reverse but with a party somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, as the saying goes.
The thing being that at the moment, the rightist free-market dogma has failed and this could well be a new era for leftist intervention, and we're the only ones who can push that agenda. This is where we can both renew ourselves and outflank the Tories, provided that we can make the arguement for it. I personally don't see it coming from the Tories, even if Cameron wanted to his supporters (both personal and party) are unlikely to support it. Some may, probably will, but i doubt in great enough numbers to outweigh those who still call for free markets and fiscal conservatism.
Labour has the opportunity to splash cash in a way they have only dreamt about since probably 1983, while the Tories don't want to talk too much about the economy other than to blame Brown. After all, they were saying one thing before this broke and the total opposite now. I don't believe Cameron has pulled his party that far to the centre to put this into a coherent policy strategy that can properly promote the regulation of markets, but we shall see.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Minimum Wage

As part of my job I've been doing some work on minimum wage. I've noted a very worrying trend amongst certain parties who are pushing for a freeze, cut in or removal of the minimum wage. I think it's really important that Labour is able to stand up and defend the minimum wage and those (like me) who earn it. While I certainly see the dangers of setting the NMW too high, there is a real danger that those who earn this pretty pitiful sum are cast aside as mere employment costs.
Aside from the usual social justice arguement, the dangers of deflation and impoverishment are clear. Those earning little spend much more of their income, and have very little wealth. Their marginal propensity to consume is high because they can't afford to save. Any cut in our income means we can't just dip into savings, but rather are living pretty tight to the line as it is.
Restraint in the future, yes. But nothing less than restraint